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McDonald's workers protest hot working conditions

It's summer in North Carolina and as the temperatures rise, many residents choose to stay indoors in the the comfort of air conditioning. Most indoor workplaces, particularly those within the restaurant and hospitality industries. provide patrons and workers with an air-conditioned environment. However, workers at one McDonald's restaurant recently walked off the job after their employer failed to fix a broken air conditioning unit.

According to employees, this isn't the first time the air conditioner has broken. In fact, those interviewed contend this same scenario plays out every year. As the temperatures rise to dangerous numbers outside, the AC breaks and the heat becomes unbearable and dangerous in the restaurant. This is particularly true in the kitchen area where one worker recently collapsed from the extreme heat and was taken to the hospital for treatment.

Shortly after the employee collapsed, many other employees walked off the job. Several stood outside of the multi-billion dollar fast food chain protesting the unbearable work conditions. One 26-year-old employee who has worked at the restaurant for nine years complained that McDonald's obviously "has the money, but won't do anything".

In this case, it's unclear whether any of the employees were disciplined or fired for walking off of the job. Employees who believe their work conditions are unsafe and pose a hazard to their health and wellbeing may choose to discuss their case with an attorney. Likewise, employees who have suffered work injuries and illness related to unsafe working conditions would be wise to seek legal advice. In many cases, employers are guilty of violating laws which exist to protect the rights of workers and ensure for their safety.

Source: New York Daily News, "McDonald's workers strike after air-conditioner fails, colleague hospitalized," Nicholle Buckley and Larry McShane, July 19, 2013

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